OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

John Kitzhaber to give talk on health care reform at OSU

11/06/2009

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Former Oregon governor and current gubernatorial candidate John Kitzhaber will visit Oregon State University on Thursday, Nov. 12, to give a seminar on health care reform and how to transition to a more sustainable future.

The seminar, which begins at 4 p.m., is part of a new course at OSU called Public Health Policy and Politics that has featured guest speakers ranging from health policy experts to researchers. It takes place at Gilfillan Auditorium, 2601 S.W. Orchard Ave., Corvallis.

Tom Eversole, project director of strategic development for the College of Health and Human Sciences, is teaching the course, which takes place Mondays and Wednesdays from 4 to 5:20 p.m. during fall term. The seminar course looks at the interface of policy and public health, and is intended to give students a broader context for the topics they’re studying.

“This year Oregonians passed some of the most progressive health reform legislation in the nation, due in large part to a participatory public process,” Eversole said. “This course exposes students to real-life accounts by our citizen-legislators working to move important concepts into law.

“I especially like it when policy-makers and leaders in public service challenge our students to accept responsibility for improving the status quo.” Eversole added.

Eversole said Kitzhaber was chosen as a speaker for the course because of his advocacy work on health policy issues, as well as his perspective as a medical doctor. It is not an endorsement of his candidacy for governor, he pointed out.

Kitzhaber’s talk, “Health Care Reform for the 21st Century,” will address the issue of transitioning to a more sustainable future. Whether the issue is health care, public education, energy or transportation, the political dynamic, he says, is the same. Kitzhaber will use the crisis in the health care system to illustrate the nature of the problem and to argue that successfully making this transition depends on an understanding of the danger inherent in clinging to the status quo and on a clear vision of the future.

The public is invited to attend this free lecture. The rest of the series, which takes place in Kearney Hall 112, is also open to the public. It includes:

4 p.m. Monday, Nov. 23: “Provider Taxes: Making our Current Medical System Work”

Speakers: Betsy Johnson, Oregon Senate; Ron Maurer, Oregon House of Representatives; and Dr. Bruce Goldberg, director of Oregon Department of Human Services

4 p.m. Wednesday, Dec 2.: “Water Policy and Politics in Oregon”

Jackie Dingfelder, Oregon Senate; Jules Bailey, Oregon House of Representatives; and Mark Hass, Oregon Senate